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Drowning in Kaweah River

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

National Park News

On the afternoon of August 1st, rangers responded to a report of two people having trouble getting out of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River near Ash Mountain headquarters. A bystander pulled the young woman to shore, then jumped in to look for her 40-year-old male companion, who was reported to be submerged at that point. Rangers were on scene within five minutes. Two specially-trained and equipped rangers entered the cold water to search for the man and found him at the bottom of the river, 30 feet below, within just a few minutes. He was not breathing, had not pulse and was unresponsive. The rangers began CPR and applied an AED. He was carried up the trail to a Tulare County ALS ambulance, where a park medic and the ambulance crew administered advanced care and medication. After conferring with doctors at Kaweah Delta Hospital, the man was pronounced dead. He had been underwater for about 15 minutes. Three people have drowned in separate incidents in the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in the park this year. Though it's August, rivers are still dangerous due to cold, fast-moving water.


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